Rustic, rickety-looking structures perch precariously over the water, resembling giant wooden crabs emerging from the sea. Called trabocchi, they are simplistic fishing platforms dotting the coastline of southern Abruzzo, from Francavilla al Mare to Vasto.
Long antennae-like poles and pulleys operate the rudimentary mechanism to lower and raise the nets, then haul the catch onto the wooden floor of the platform. The trabocchi have been in use here since the 15th century.
All along the so-called Costa dei Trabocchi, olive-studded hills rise from the Adriatic, clean pebble beaches remain mostly open and free, and the skies are not a placid pastel but an intense and imposing blue to match the uncontaminated sea. Secluded coves offer excellent swimming with these unusual but lovely platforms as a backdrop.